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Did I Tell You I Actually Got Elected Onto Our HOA?

Yep!  After 5 years of living here, one failed attempt to be on the home owner’s association (HOA) board a few years ago, and some networking via life, I was elected onto our HOA board last October during the annual meeting that I didn’t even attend because I was at Fincon17!!! One of my friends who lives in this neighborhood to, Jennifer Fernandez, spoke for both of us while I was gone.  We were hoping to get elected together.  Instead, I get a text message congratulating me, and then she tells me she wasn’t elected! Meh…someone on the board moved a couple of weeks later, so we grabbed her up ASAP anyway.  😀  If you are from this neighborhood and haven’t voted yet, please elect Jennifer Fernandez for one of the two open spots because she loves this neighborhood, will work for you, and I don’t want to be the only woman on the HOA board!!!  She’s the one who planned and executed the Easter Egg Hunt with hardly any help!  I just helped coordinate a few little things…she did 99.9% of the whole, giant hunt!!! I Made Connections Yep, I apparently made enough good impressions via human connections that … Read more

Should I Stop Spending?

The following is a staff writer post from MikeS. He is a married father of 2. So, with the cat, he ranks number 5 in the house. He loves numbers and helping people. Please leave any questions or comments below for either Mike or Crystal. It happened again, I fell for click bait. This time it was from a Forbes article. The title I fell for was “Why You Need to Stop Spending Money Right Now”. The gist of the article is that Americans in general are going back into debt, deeper than they were previously. Whew, I can keep spending money, as my debt has never been as low as it is right now. 😉 Let’s walk through some of the information in the article and compare how I stack up against the averages. Total Household Debt The article begins by discussing the increase in household debt from 2015 to 2016. It uses scary numbers; debt increased $460 billion to $12.6 trillion. Those are large numbers to be sure, but when you do the math, that’s only an increase of 3.8%. We are not exactly talking about a gigantic jump. Any increase is probably bad given the state of … Read more

Please Don’t Go #EndTheStigma and #DebtDrop #WSPD18

This blog post is part of the 3rd Annual Suicide Prevention Awareness Month blog tour for the 3rd year running. If you are feeling suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741.  Please feel free to check out my last two posts too – Don’t Kill Yourself Over Debt or Anything Else Please Stay – Suicide is Too Final In short, please don’t kill yourself over anything.  But especially money. It’s Normal You are not alone.  Ever felt like the world would be better off without you?  Or thought that the only way out of whatever you were feeling was to die?  That’s sadly pretty normal.  It has gone through the head of MILLIONS of us.  BUT IT ISN’T TRUE.  The world isn’t better without us in it.  We have other options.  And specifically, money problems can be fixed! Debt, even giant debts, can be paid off.  Money can be made.  It’s just money.  It is not as important as your life. Help Others I highly suggest volunteer work!  At my lowest, I was still useful and needed at my volunteer shifts.  Those dogs wouldn’t get their potty break without me.  And there … Read more

The Baby Stuff We Actually Used in the First 3 Months

WE’VE BEEN PARENTS FOR 3 MONTHS!!!  SHE’S STILL ALIVE!!!  *pats self on back* As you probably have noticed, I have not been blogging much this year.  Pregnancy was hard.  Parenthood is harder (no surprise). My Current Life The hardest thing is getting more than 30 minutes to myself that isn’t needing to be spent on something NECESSARY for our continued existence…like peeing, feeding our pets, scheduling for Crystal’ Cozy Care Pet Sitting, doing actual pet sitting jobs, showering occasionally, staying in contact with our support network of family and friends, payroll for the pet sitting business, shoving food into my mouth, etc. All of that is accomplished between the baby’s naps, play sessions, SMILE-A-THONS (she’s freaking social smiling and trying to giggle already!!!), and coo sessions (she wants to talk soooooo bad!!!).  It’s around 11pm at night when she’s down for the count, I do a last round of the necessaries until midnight, and then I crash until 5-6am when she wakes up.   Repeat 7 days a week. Baby BFS All of that said, I LOVE BEING HER MOM.  Baby BFS is awesome.  Tries so hard to communicate in whatever ways she can pull off.  Wants to sit up and … Read more

Have You Heard About Amazon Smile?

Reposting from 2016 since it’s good to know!!!  We’ve donated more than $31 to SMART Animal Rescue (Sunmart Animal Rescue Team Inc. on Amazon Smile) since I found out about it…we are sort of Amazon addicts… I know gobs of us use Amazon, but have you heard about the Amazon Smile program?  It’s an easy way to support a favorite charity when you shop on Amazon and it costs you NOTHING.  The prices aren’t higher or anything.  Same Amazon, but now 0.5% of what you’re paying will be given back to the charity of your choosing when you join. Easy to Smile All you have to do is visit and select a charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. They donate there whenever you shop using  You can change your choice at any time.  And they will occasionally remind you to switch over to Smile when you forget and are on Amazon anyway.  But I just bookmarked “” as my main Amazon link so I don’t accidentally forget. I’ve been on Amazon Smile for a while and my charity of choice is SMART Animal Rescue (Sunmart Animal Rescue Team Inc. on Amazon Smile).  There … Read more

DIY – Replacing an Outside Unit Air Conditioner Capacitor

*DISCLOSURE:  THIS IS A PERSONAL STORY, NOT PROFESSIONAL ADVICE* This is just a heads up post in case anybody else experiences this specific issue with their air conditioner. When our a/c stops working because the outside unit isn’t turning on (fan blowing inside but the outside unit is off), it most likely is the capacitor. How to Replace a Capacitor for the Outside A/C Unit It looks like a metal cylinder smaller than a soda can. Here are the steps we took to replace it ourselves: TURN OFF THE ELECTRICITY TO THE A/C Remove the bolts of the little panel in the back or on the side of your outside unit Take a picture of how it is hooked up currently so you know how to put the new capacitor back in SHORT IT OUT BY USING TWO INSULATED SCREW DRIVERS TO BLEED OUT THE ELECTRICITY BY TOUCHING TWO TERMINALS AT ONCE (just don’t go around molesting the terminals and it seems to work out okay) and unplug the 3 wires leading into it Either order a new one online or take it to a place like Grainger Industrial or any air conditioner repair shop to get a replacement.  Call … Read more

Compensated for Our Inconvenience!!!

Hi!  I will update all of you baby lovers about Baby BFS super soon (she’s just past 7 weeks old, wowza), but I had to pass along a money thing ASAP. Long story summarized, our sweet next door neighbors are having a pool installed.  We gave their pool company permission to shortcut through our back yard to dig the initial hole.  Crap happened. The First Screw Up On Day 1, the digging crew shredded our fiber optic internet/cable line with the sheer weight of the Bobcat hole-digger.  AT&T was way behind on appointments and couldn’t make it out to run a new line for us FOR 6 DAYS. The Second Screw Up Then, after those 6 days and only 4 hours after AT&T ran a new line for us, the pool company’s fencing crew re-installed the fence section and DROVE A NAIL THROUGH THE NEW LINE.  It was another 2 days before AT&T could make it out again. NO INTERNET That’s 8 days without the internet.  Our very apologetic (and truly thoughtful since I would not have come up with this idea) neighbors bought a WIFI extender so we could use their internet in the northwest corner of our house.  … Read more